Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Ninety!!!(Another great calzone compliments of Guest Chronicler Laura of the 'Hey Spelty' Blog)

The following recipe and commentary are from Laura of the Hey Spelty blog.   Laura is located somewhere outside of the Great State of Maine, but I learned about her blog from a friend.  She has discovered, like many other people, that the industrial wheat (aka common wheat) makes her feel not so great, and that the ancient grain spelt is a wonderful alternative for her.  She also has other food allergies and sensitivities so her blog may be especially useful for some of our readers with a range of food allergies.  Here is another calzone recipe that she posted.  

Laura speaking, "I've really gotten on a calzone kick lately.  they are easy to make in advance and are great to pack for lunch.  sadly, dairy still seems to be a problem for me, so i've had to rethink my typical filling ideas. a friend suggested using caramelized onions instead of cheese and while nothing will ever replace cheese (glorious cheese), these are so tasty that i don't miss it."

sausage and onion calzones made with Spelt Right dough
makes 4

1 ball Spelt Right pizza dough, thawed
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 link hot italian sausage, removed from casing and chopped
1 link sweet italian sausage, removed from casing and chopped
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, spelt flour for dusting

allow pizza dough to rise at room temperature until roughly doubled in size

heat some olive oil in a large skillet, add sliced onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they have caramelized to a medium brown color.  this usually takes around 30-45 minutes.once onions are caramelized, transfer them to a medium bowl.

in the same skillet, brown the sausage, breaking it up into small chunks as it cooks
after sausage cooks, drain excess fat and add sausage to onions

add lemon zest and chopped thyme and mix well

preheat oven to 450

line an inverted sheet pan with parchment,
divide dough in to four equal sections
stretch and flatten each section into a flat disc

place 1/4 of the onion/sausage mixture onto one side of each flattened round of dough
fold the other side over the mixture and crimp shut

transfer each calzone to the baking sheet

top with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes

using a sharp knife or scissors, cut slits in the top of each calzone to allow steam to escape

bake for roughly 15 minutes or until golden brown

serve with tomato sauce


Although, I have not yet tried Laura's recipe, I am going to give it a TWO THUMBS up.  It looks and sounds so good.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Eighty -Eight (Guest Chronicler Steff Deschenes - A bagel with the fixins' and a story!)

Here is a post from one of my FAVORITE fans, Steff Deschenes, and the author of The Ice Cream Theory
About the picture:
I'm always looking for a filling, nutritionally beneficial snack that taste awesome and will sustain my energy (and metabolism) levels for long stretches of time since I'm always on the go.  My latest, favorite food that does just that uses Spelt Right bagels.  I take a Spelt Right bagel, toast it, and spread a thin layer of Tofutti "cream cheese."  I then sprinkle walnuts and raisins on it, and top it all off with a drizzle of agave syrup.  It's vegan, it's organic, and it tastes DIVINE.  I have a part time job as a beer model, so I'm also super calorie conscious.  This great bagel has 400 calories (including ALL OF THE FIXINS' on top) and while that may seem high, I'm not concerned because every single calorie is made up of GOOD stuff.  Good for your body, mind, and soul; good for you!  And believe it or not, the body really does react positively to food items, regardless of calories, that are made up from organic, plant-derived ingredients made from people who care!

The write-up:
Over a year ago I made the decision to live an organic, more sustainable lifestyle.  For me, it seemed that the best way to do this was to focus my attention on what I was consuming.  I decided that I was going to transition my lifestyle into being 65 to 75% organic, locally-sourced, and vegan-oriented.

As a result I had to ret each myself alot of gastronomical and lifestyle habits.  I eradicated from my palate both sea and land animals, eggs, and the majority of my dairy content (I have a bit of an addiction to ice cream and cheese - I consume both on a much smaller scale than I once did [and smaller still every day], but they're still present, in serious moderation, in my life); and, from my day to day life, I removed any products that contained any animal byproduct or were tested on animals.

It was a huge change, but one that ended up being perfect for me!

As I've become more educated and experienced in these lifestyle choices, it now baffles me how well we take care of our homes, or cars, or computers, or even our hair and make-up, but how thoughtless we can be towards taking care of ourselves.  Everything we put into and onto our body is incredibly important, effecting how our bodies operate.  Everything from our auto-immune system, to our cardiovascular system, to our reproductive systems are affected by the things we're consuming or applying.

Knowing full well that our bodies react to what we put into it and onto it, we should be averse to then putting synthetic materials, hormones, pesticides, or any other unnatural junk near us!  This body is the ONLY ONE I GET, so I'm gonna take care of it the best that I can.

I've become quite the advocate for health and wellness.  And while it's clearly easy to preach from a soapbox, I've found the most effective way to educate and encourage friends and family to a physically healthier, more socially conscious, more compassionate lifestyle is simply by cooking for and eating with them. 

As a result, I'm always excited when I find new foods that fit into my personal requirements (of being organic, locally-sourced, vegan-oriented - or best yet, all three at the same time!).  I remember stumbling upon Spelt Right bagels when I was reading the Down East magazine featuring them as the Best of in 2009.  I thought the concept was great - it was a food product that recognized all the junk on the market and was trying to proactively change that.

That's a cause I can support!

I bought my first bag of Spelt Right bagels (Maddie's Choice) immediately following reading the article and fell in love instantly.  Bagels had always been one of my favorite foods, but they also felt really heavy - I could physically feel myself being weighed down after eating one.  Even more so as my body naturally went through the process of purging and cleansing itself from all the years of (unknowingly) eating gunk.  So, I was excited when I discovered Spelt Right, but even more delighted at how absolutely wonderful their baked goods taste!

I've been supporting Spelt Right since that first bite through purchasing their products regularly and by word of mouth advertising.  My family and friends are all now converted, able to recognize how heavy and destructive wheat can be over the excellent qualities of spelt!

And it's organic.

And it's local.

And it's vegan-oriented.

What's not to love about Spelt Right?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Eighty-Seven (Blueberry, Cream Cheese Tarts - Decadent, but not too Decadent)

Blueberry and cream cheese tarts wrapped in Spelt Right Pizza Dough (this dough is NOT just for pizzas).  This is a nice little treat.  I used blueberry filling made by my mom (though you could get some premade or make some yourself) and cream cheese, along with one fully thawed and risen Spelt Right pizza dough.  Preheat oven to 375.  Divide fully risen dough into 8-10 equal balls, shape into flat rounds on a spelt floured or corn meal surface.  Place about 1 TBL of blueberry filling and 1/2 TBL of cream cheese in center.   Fold to make triangle.  (See earlier posts for explicit instructions).  Place on oiled baking pan.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly brown on top.  When finished, let cool for a few minutes, and then dig in.  Great treat for the kids.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Eighty-Six (Guest Blogger from Cyberspace)

Wow, the internet and long term friendships can be VERY COOL. I am convinced that "6 degrees of separation" is more like "2 degrees of separation" with all of this cyber activity. I recently reconnected with my friend, Diana S., from high school. Prior to this year, the last time I saw her was about 30 years ago. I must say, we have both aged well! Diana is a wonderful fan of Spelt Right and recently sent me an email post from another high school acquaintance, posting a recipe from another friend in Boston made with Spelt Right dough. Given that we all live in different states, I think it is quite COOL. Here is the post, the link, and the recipe. Enjoy! http://heyspelty.blogspot.com/2010/08/happy-happy.html

spelt calzones
makes 2 enormous calzones

1 ball spelt right  frozen pizza dough, thawed and risen for around 2 hours

(make sure not to let the dough rise too quickly.  with wheat flour i would usually proof dough in the oven with the oven light on- this does not work for spelt.  i don't know why, my guess is that it has something to do with shorter gluten strands....?)


1 med zucchini, large dice
6 oz fresh spinach (1 bag)
4 scallions, small dice
4 oz feta, crumbled

olive oil

red pepper flakes

preheat oven to 450

cover an inverted baking sheet with parchment paper

for the filling:

brown zucchini in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

remove from pan.

using the same pan, quickly saute the spinach until fully cooked.

once it is cool enough to handle, squeeze as much moisture from the spinach as you can.

mix zucchini, spinach, scallions and feta in a bowl.

for the crust:

after the dough has risen, dust the counter or a board with spelt flour and divide the dough ball into 2 equal pieces.  working one at a time, flatten each dough ball to roughly 10" diameter.

scoop 1/2 of the filling onto one side of each flattened disc, then fold the remaining dough over the filling.  crimp the edges.

transfer your calzones to the inverted baking sheet.

using a sharp knife or scissors, snip 3 holes into the top of each calzone to allow steam to escape.

brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

bake for approx. 15 minutes until golden brown.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Eighty-Five (Pemberton's Pomodoro Basilico, Trader Giotto's Marinated Mozzarella, Spelt Right Pizza Dough)

If you have read any of my earlier posts, you will know that I am a bit obsessed with Trader Joe's.  I have a love hate relationship with the place.  I love foraging through the store for new finds, but often get a little carried away.   I try to pretend that I am not that anxious for Trader Joe's to open in Portland, Maine, but it's a bit like a crush....I don't want to let them know, but the look is on my face.  The three ingredients I used today have one thing in common - extra virgin olive oil, aka EVOO.  Again, another obsession of mine. 

Recipe:  Spelt Right Pizza Dough topped with Pemberton's Pomodoro Basilico Pasta Sauce or Pemberton's Spicey Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce, and Trader Giotto's Marinated Mozzarella or regular mozzarella.   Directions:  Fully thaw and rise a Spelt Right Pizza dough.  Divide into 8 even balls, make small pizzettas on floured or corn mealed pizza peel.  Place pizzettas on lightly oiled baking sheet, top with sauce and cheese.    Bake at 400-450 for about 10 minutes.   Let cool a bit.  Put in aluminum foil, pack, head to beach with pizzettas, sliced peaches, bottled water, and your kids.  Relax, eat, and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Eighty-Four (The Metamorphosis of Spelt Right Pizza Dough)

Today was my birthday (well, now it was yesterday) so I DID NOT cook or bake or clean, but I have this great picture that I felt I must share with you.   This is the metamorphosis of a Spelt Right Pizza Dough, cool, but not life moving or anything.   But, if you, like I, happen to be obsessed with baking with Spelt Right dough, you might want to know its various stages.  Pizza No. 1 - embryonic stage, simply not ready to venture into the world on its own.   Pizza No. 2, early man, perhaps Neanderthal, advanced, but probably couldn't drive a car.  Pizza No. 3, definitely close to ready, can be used for a respectable pizza, but perhaps has not reached drinking age yet.  Pizza No. 4, AGE 47, just like me, perfect, ready to roll out and bake.  Though, this 47 year old rolled out pizza dough is feeling a little fried after midnight and a full day's work, so no recipes tonight, just rants.  Recipes on future blogs! Peace!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Eighty-Three (Another Maine Ten Mile Trio)

The other day I indulged in another Maine Ten Mile Trio - made from ingredients all sourced within 10 miles of the Spelt Right Bake House.

Recipe/Ingredients:  Spelt Right Pizzettas with Olivia's Garden Pesto and Pineland Farms Feta Cheese

Directions:  Thaw and Fully Rise One Spelt Right Pizza Dough.   Preheat oven to 450 F.  If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven on the upper shelf.  Divide Spelt Right Pizza Dough into six to eight even balls.   Stretch or roll out.  I placed these on a pizza peel generously sprinkled with corn meal, but you can put this on a lightly oiled stainless steel baking pan.  Top with Olivia's Garden Pesto, and Pineland Farms Feta.   If using a peel, tip the peel toward the pizza stone, and gently persuade the pizzettas with a spatula onto the pizza stone.   If using a pan, place in the oven on upper shelf.   Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until done. 

The Tripartite Response for the Second Ten Mile Trio?  Yum, Yum, Yum.